+100%- Print This Post
June 30, 2022 | Rome, Italy

Black Sea

By | 2018-03-21T19:05:50+01:00 May 13th, 2015|Reviews|


Date: 2014

Director: Kevin Macdonald

Starring: Jude Law, Scooter McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, David Threlfall

Imagine a bank heist in which the thieves hatch a devious plan only to find themselves trapped underground inches from the vault. Now, add a submarine, lost gold, avaricious mercenaries, and every manner of underwater claustrophobia. Director Kevin Mcdonald’s conventional and ultimately farcical thriller borrows from World War II-era submarine dramas and doomed robber tales, hoping conflict and chaos can overcome shortfalls in plot and character development. They don’t.

Robinson (Jude Law) is a sub captain unceremoniously laid off by his marine salvage firm. A former mate tells him of the legend of a Nazi U-Boat laden with gobs of gold, and Robinson sells the idea of salvaging the gold to a laconic mogul. Next comes purchasing a decrepit Russian sub in Sebastopol and making for the Black Sea. Once on board, blue-collar Brits quarrel with blue-collar Russians (ah, greed), and all manner of testosterone mayhem ensues. Not enough of it, of course, to prevent the fortune-seekers from eying their prize.

Just when all seems lost comes an endgame twist, inducing the embittered but family-loving Robison to brogue, “I’m not going home poor.” If only he just took the money and ran. Instead, McDonald indulges 30 muddled minutes of man-eat-man absurdity that literally drowns any remaining vestiges of cinematic good will. It’s anyone’s guess why the Glasgow-born Mcdonald (“The Last King of Scotland,” “State of Play”) dove into these messy waters. “Either it’s going to work or it’s not,” says a gnarled Russian of a makeshift repair. This doesn’t.

About the Author:

A military brat, Marcia Yarrow was born in Hamburg, Germany but grew up in Germany, Spain, and Provo, Utah. She's been writing for the magazine since its creation in 2004.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!